The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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A guard at a Northwest Florida juvenile prison was arrested after surveillance video caught her savagely attacking a 15-year-old girl, the Miami Herald reports.

Click on the link above to see video of the attack.

While the attack got 33-year-old Shannon Linn Abbott arrested by the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office on a battery charge, she was bailed out and put back on the job–supervising children. The revelation lead the Department of Juvenile Justice to ask the privately managed Milton Girls Juvenile Residential Facilities‘ director to remove the guard from all access to children.

“It is our expectation, at the very least, that this staff member will have no contact with youth in any of our programs,” wrote Laura K. Moneyham, a DJJ assistant secretary.

The girl, who has not been identified, told police that Abbott was angry at her for being “disruptive in the classroom.”

“We are deeply concerned that the incident, as depicted in the video . . . contradicts its description to us by officials representing the facility,” Wansley Walters, DJJ secretary, said of the Aug. 9 incident. “We are also troubled that the facility did not officially report the incident to DJJ until two days after it occurred, and only when the victim called the [Department of Children & Families] abuse hotline. This lapse is inexplicable.”

Abbott’s attack is the third time in recent years that a worker has been caught on camera abusing a child at a Florida juvenile justice facility.

Here is more on how the attack unfolded, as reported by The Herald:

According to a police report, the 15-year-old detainee, who is not identified, was being escorted by Abbott, who was holding the girl’s elbows as they walked. Most of what occurred during the alleged assault was captured by DJJ surveillance cameras, which are installed in most youth facilities.

The tape shows the guard slamming the 15-year-old face-first against a concrete wall, then throwing her on the floor, face down, and sitting on top of her for several minutes.

A second woman assists, sitting on the teenager’s legs for several minutes.

“The victim is not showing any signs of resisting. The victim is observed not pulling her arms away from the defendant; the victim is not attempting to strike the defendant in any manner and is compliant throughout the entire event,” the police report says.

The video indicates Abbott remained on top of the girl for more than 10 minutes.

During the time the girl is pinned to the floor, other women walk in and out of the picture. One sits in a chair and does work. One stands, clutching a pink purse, and appears to have a lengthy conversation with the two guards.

“The victim stated she did get an ice pack after this occurred,” police wrote, adding the girl’s eye was nearly swollen shut.

Walters said the lack of action by the other guard was particularly disturbing. “It makes me sick,” the DJJ secretary said. “No one seems to be alarmed by what’s happening there. Definitely, there are issues that we need to have a serious conversation about.”